Aids to Navigation Provided
The following aids to navigation are provided and maintained by the Commissioners of Irish Lights:
(Projected numbers for January 2010)
The Commissioners of Irish Lights are also charged with statutory responsibility for the superintendence and management of all aids to navigation provided by Local Lighthouse Authorities and other providers in ports, estuaries, and coastal areas. In addition to harbour and coastal aids, these include aids marking offshore structures such as production or exploration platforms; alternative energy sites including wind parks and tidal, current or wave energy devices; and aquaculture sites.
On 1 December 2009 there were 4,145 recorded local aids to navigation. Of these some 2,004 are associated with aquaculture developments. The remaining 2,141 aids comprise 15 lighthouses, 937 lighted beacons, 561 lighted buoys, 1 racon, 2 fog signals and a range of unlighted aids of varying kinds. A steady increase in applications for Statutory Sanction in 2009 has been recorded, with some notable new buoyage schemes being approved such as in Courtmacsherry, Ballyshannon and Donegal Bay.
Local lighted aids to navigation and other seamarks of higher importance are inspected annually. All remaining local aids are inspected every two years (apart from unpainted stone beacons which are considered to be of lower risk, which are inspected every three years). In 2009 Irish Lights introduced a gis based inspection technology for local aids to navigation resulting in a more efficient and accurate inspection process.
The Commissioners' policy is to maintain a high level of local aid to navigation superintendence and management through a combined audit and inspection regime and consultation with Local Lighthouse Authorities.